1. Female chicks of a White Leghorn strain were fed three different diets from one day old: control, additional vitamin K3 (10 mg/kg), and a diet containing a combination of additional vitamin K3, sodium fluoride (10 mg/kg) and limestone in particulate rather than powdered form. At 16 weeks photoperiod was increased for half the birds from 8:16 L:D to 16:8 L:D immediately or by one hour per week to the same ultimate photoperiod for the other half. 2. Age at first egg was lower by 4.0 d for birds on the fast lighting regime but there were no overall effects of lighting on bone quality at either 25 or 70 weeks. 3. Additional vitamin K3 resulted in higher proximal tarsometatarsus cancellous bone volumes at 15 weeks and throughout the laying period compared with controls. Plasma osteocalcin concentrations were unaffected by vitamin K3 supplementation during growth. 4. The combination diet resulted in beneficial responses of 12 to 20% in most bone characteristics in hens at 70 weeks. The magnitude of these effects was similar to a previous study involving a particulate calcium source alone (Fleming et al., Poultry Science, 39: 434-440, 1998b). We conclude that the beneficial effects of the combined treatment over the lifetime of the hens were attributable mainly to the presence in the diet of a calcium source in particulate form.
- Animal Feed
- Bone Development/radiation effects
- Calcium Carbonate/pharmacology
- Chickens/growth & development
- Dietary Supplements
- Poultry Diseases/epidemiology
- Vitamin K 1/pharmacology